Friday, March 30, 2012

Good-By Earl Scruggs

I felt a real sense of loss today when I learned Earl Scruggs had passed away. This may surprise a lot of folks, Country Western Music isn't really my thing. Having said that, I can lessen to a good Banjo picker all night long. I have never met anyone who didn't turn the radio up when FOGGY MOUNTAIN BREAKDOWN came on.

Being a child of the 50's and 60's my first introduction to Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt was THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. In addition to writing and performing The Ballad of Jed Clampet Earl and Lester made a number of guest appearances on the show.

Go with God Earl. Your gift of music will help us deal with the loss.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I like this

I like this.

I don't know that I have always lived up to the idea it expresses,

but I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Granny Burnetts Airplane Book

The other day I was on E-Bay (a dangerous place according to my Wife) and found a delightful surprise. One of my searches turned up AMERICA’S FIGHTING PLANES by Reed Kinert. The amazing thing was that it was in Kindle format. I was overjoyed that a new generation would be exposed to this wonder book.

In World War Two my Uncle Jack Burnett went to the Aircorps as an aircraft mechanic. He wrote home strange letters speaking of Pt-19s, AT-6 and B-25s. My Grandfather bought a copy of this book on a business trip to Amarillo, Texas in order to read the code.

My Cousin Eddie read to me from this book at Granny Burnett’s farm. It was the first exposure I had to the planes that would become so important in my life. I’m afraid we grand kids wore that book out. I reattached the covers while working as a library assistant in high school. When Granny Burnett passed away that book went to Eddie – as it should have.

In 1994 I visited THE BOOK BUYERS SHOPE on Alabama Street in Houston, a place every bit as dangerous as E-Bay. I had not thought about Granny Burnett’s airplane book in twenty years at least. I had long since given up any chance of finding another. There on the shelf was the second copy I had seen in my life.

Nothing could ever take the place of Granny Burnett’s book, but I made this one special in another way. I take this book to the Men (and Women) who flew, and now fly, the planes described here. It’s a great ice breaker. Most of them honor me by signing the pages of the planes they flew.

As they thumb through the book two things happen. I have had a number of folks, when they spot performance figures listed here ask, “Weren’t they worried about this information getting into enemy hands?”

Friends and neighbors – they were counting on it! I have had a number of old timers laugh openly at the speeds, ranges and fuel capacities listed.

But the pictures also bring out the stories. Sometimes stories they haven’t thought about in years.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Assume it's loaded!

We are told from the time we start shooting to assume all firearms are loaded. When we're new shooters most of us are rigid about safety rules. Then, we become "old pro's" and don't sweat the small stuff.

This photo came to me from a friend in re-enacting. I will add quickly that it's not my shoe. I don't know who this is or when the photos were taken. According to the story that came with these photos the guy was testing the trigger on a handgun. It worked!

As bad as this looks the guy was lucky, the bullet - a .45 I believe - passed between the toes - after a fashion. It looks like a little bit of bone is showing on that big toe. When the shock wears off he ain't going to believe the pain.

As bad as the first photo looks, this one looks worse. It only takes a second of thoughtlessness for disaster to strike. The last time I wrote about a accidental discharge (It Only Takes One - 02/04/2010) a good man died.

Please be careful folks, this kind of thing happens in a split second you can never take back.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Texas Girl Scouts

I just saw a news update - They got them!

A few days ago two low life’s made news coast to coast. For reasons best known to them they had to show what big men they were by stealing money from a group of girl scouts selling cookies. They were just about over matched. James at Hellinahandbasket has all the details.

These were Central Texas Girl Scouts! They are a different breed. When the punk grabbed the money and ran to his buddy’s car the girls did not scream and call for someone to save them. They gave chase and in the words of a witness “beat the tar out of that fool.” The thieves escaped only due to a shortage of heavy blunt objects. Had there been a supply of bricks on hand that car would have been easy to find. I know of which I speak.

This is my Granddaughter, a member of a different Girl Scout Troop only a few miles from the one that was robbed. The rifle she is holding is her Dad’s but the hog is hers. She was insulted when someone suggested she would pose with a hog someone else had shot.

She didn’t stop at shooting the hog. Her Dad will be having back surgery soon and couldn’t lift it into the back of the truck alone – she helped. When they got home she also helped dress it out. She had a hand in curing the meat. She loaded the first ham into the smoker, and you better believe when it was served she was the first in line to get a slice.

She isn’t even the meanest girl in her Girl Scout Troop. Would you try to snatch a cashbox from a dozen girls like this?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fun With Wildlife

Do you see it?

I didn't at first. Look a couple of feet below the transformer.

We have been hearing a woodpecker around the house for some time but never saw it. Then Sunday Matt came in and said "You have to see this." I don't really have a problem with the woodpecker making a nesting hollow. The power poles are better than my trees for this.

I just would have been happer if he had chosen a different one.

When I tried to report it to the electric company they weren't too impressed. I was informed this extention was for reporting emergencies.

Perhaps someone will be out before the top of the poll falls off.